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Deadhouse Gates: Book Two of The Malazan Book of the Fallen by Steven Erikson
Review by Steve Sawicki
Tor Books Paperback  ISBN/ITEM#: 0765314290
Date: 01 February, 2005 List Price $14.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /

But this is the way Erikson writes. Nothing is simple, not characters, not places not the religions and certainly not the politics, which often involves gods, either directly or indirectly. The motives of everyone is suspect and in the middle of it all are the bridgeburners, a small military force that's somehow survived against a number of attempts to kill them all off and is not stuck with the Malazan army running ahead of pursuing forces and once again, in danger of being taken off the map.

All of the characters in the first book are present here with the addition of a couple of new ones and the introduction of a couple of new story lines, not that they were needed in what is an incredibly complex story to begin with. Even with the complexity and with the fact that this book weighs in at over 600 pages, the pacing is fairly frantic at times. It's hard to imagine such a big book being a quick read but it is--assuming you can keep everyone straight in your head. The cast of characters here is very large and while most are different enough to set them apart I did struggle here and there trying to remember what some of the individual character story lines were. Part of this is the way that Erikson tells the tale, moving here and moving there and sometimes going hundreds of pages before returning to a character or set of characters and continuing on with their story.

This is definitely a must read for anyone interested in epic, sweeping fantasies with strong characters, strong plotting and interesting ideas.

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